President Obama and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency both reacted with skepticism on Sunday about the prospects for an Afghanistan peace deal pushed by Pakistan between the Afghan government and some Taliban militants.
While Mr. Obama said a political solution to the conflict was necessary and suggested elements of the Taliban insurgency could be part of negotiations, he said any such effort must be viewed with caution. The C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, was even more forceful in expressing his doubts.
“We have seen no evidence that they are truly interested in reconciliation, where they would surrender their arms, where they would denounce Al Qaeda, where they would really try to become part of that society,” Mr. Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Acknowledging that the American-led counterinsurgency effort was facing unexpected difficulty, Mr. Panetta said that the Taliban and their allies had little motive to contemplate a power-sharing arrangement in Afghanistan.
“We’ve seen no evidence of that and very frankly, my view is that with regards to reconciliation, unless they’re convinced that the United States is going to win and that they’re going to be defeated, I think it’s very difficult to proceed with a reconciliation that’s going to be meaningful,” he said.